Rahal to Start 19th in the MAVTV 500 at Auto Club Speedway

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
MAVTV 500 – Auto Club Speedway
Verizon IndyCar Series
QUALIFYING NOTES/QUOTES – Friday, June 26, 2015

POLE: Simon Pagenaud 2-lap avg. speed of 218.952 mph (L1: 32.8599, L2: 32.9080)
19th: Graham Rahal 2-lap avg. speed of 213.639 mph (L1: 33.6841, L2: 33.7193)

GRAHAM RAHAL, No. 15 Mi-Jack Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “I’m happy with the speed we ran which was way, way better than I expected based on the speeds I did earlier today. I knew qualifying was going to be our weakness but I think the race car is pretty good. I don’t want to start too far back obviously but I told my guys I thought we would qualify between 15th and 18th. Everyone adds so much downforce back on the cars for the race. Over a 30, 32-lap stint we did in practice, I was able to say pretty close to flat the whole time and able to pass (Will) Power and a bunch of good guys so I feel like we will be okay in the race.”

* FAST FACTS: Will be his fourth Indy car race here. In 2014, Rahal qualified 10th and finished 19th. In 2013 he qualified 18th but started 22nd after grid penalties were assessed. He was in 14th place, one lap down to the leaders, when a mechanical failure ended his race and he ultimately finished 15th. He qualified 11th in 2012 with Service Central Chip Ganassi Racing (SCCGR), started 18th after a penalty for an unapproved engine change and finished sixth. He is looking to close the season with a top-five performance… His best overall finish this season is second place at Barber and the Indy GP and best finish on an oval is fifth at the Indy 500. His best oval start is sixth at Texas… He is ranked fifth in series point standings with a total of 283. He trails fourth place Helio Castroneves by 39 (322), third place Scott Dixon by 46 points (329), and second place Will Power by 66 (349) after Round 10 of 16.

RLL AT FONTANA: The 2015 MAVTV 500 will mark the 14th IndyCar race for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing (RLL) here. The team was entered in seven CART/Champ Car races from 1997-2003 but the 2003 event was cancelled due to wildfires. In total, the team competed in six CART/Champ Car races (all scheduled as 500-mile races; five run as such) and seven Indy Racing League/IndyCar Series events (2002-2005, 2012-2014). The team won ONE RACE (Jimmy Vasser 2002), made TWO front row starts (2nd: Max Papis 1999, Kenny Brack 2003), earned FOUR podiums (2nd – Papis 1999 & 2001; 3rd – Vitor Meira 2005), and led 407 laps (chart available). The team entered cars for Bobby Rahal (1997-1998), Bryan Herta (1997-1999), Max Papis (1999-2001), Kenny Brack (2000-2001, 2003), Jimmy Vasser (2002 – both CCWS & IRL), Michel Jourdain (2002-2003), Buddy Rice (2004-2005), Vitor Meira (2004-2005), Danica Patrick (2005), Takuma Sato (2012), Graham Rahal (2013-2014) and James Jakes (2013). The No. 15 Mi-Jack entry for Graham Rahal will bring that total to 24 Indy car entries in this race.

NEXT UP: NBC Sports Network will begin coverage at 4:00 p.m. ET Saturday and the MAVTV 500 will take the Green Flag at 1:36 p.m. PT. Streaming video and Timing and Scoring information is available for all practice sessions from www.indycar.com and includes commentary by the INDYCAR Radio Network.